The Blessings of the Lord

So let me just tell you about my sweet day.  My little sister is about to go on an 11 month mission trip around the world.  To raise money, some wonderful people from Keystone Church and some of our sweet family members donated a ton of stuff and threw a Yard Sale.   We just finished working it – and we are right at $1500.  And 100% of it goes to Jess’s mission trip.  Can you believe it?!?  That is 10% of the money she needs to raise for the entire 11 month trip raised in ONE DAY.  Amazing.  So many people were crazy generous.  Many wonderful Keystone people not only donated to the sale, but also came out and shopped it.  One of our wonderful precious friends not only donated amazing purses and scrapbooking stuff, but she also paid entirely too much and bought one of the wonderful purses we had for sale.  I love these people.  This is the church.  The Lord is so good.   My sweet sister was blessed and amazed.  We brought in 50% more than we had prayed for.

But here are two pretty cool things:

First, have you ever read the story of the Widow’s oil in 2 Kings 4?  That’s kind of what happened.  We saw the Lord, through this sale, take care of so many needs.  We just loaded two truckloads of stuff up remaining from the Yard Sale.  One truckload is going to my parent’s house for another garage sale for Jess they are hosting next weekend.  The other truckload is going home with a friend of Justin and mine.  We have seen the Lord do an AMAZING rescuing act in his life.  Just two years ago, he was on a terribly destructive path.  We have seen this massive change in his life as he has become a new person in Christ.  Justin went to see him last night, and he is going through a very difficult time right now and lives in a completely empty place.  We didn’t know this until yesterday and Justin and I were really broken about that for him.  We love this guy and believe in him so much – he truly has the joy of the Lord and even though circumstances are tough right now, he remains faithful and joyful.  So, as the Yard sale progressed, we noticed that some of the large furniture items were just not selling.  If you are a Garage Sale person – you know this is strange.  Normally the furniture is the first to go.  I told my friends working the sale that I wondered if the Lord was going to exceed our goals for the sale but also use the sale to bless our friend and show him again the Lord’s faithfulness and care for him in this tough time.   How incredible that some of the “biggest ticket” items did not sell, things that we just happened to know this faithful man needed, and yet we STILL got so much money for this mission trip?  Incredible, right?  I’m telling you – we serve a Lord who provides.  Love that.

Second, my little sister has had kind of a rough road as far as her history of churches.   None of it ever her fault, she has just been at churches when the churches have gone through some big internal struggles.  And this has really hurt her heart, as she hasn’t really had a “church home” in a long time.   So Jess gets ready to go on this trip, and the organization she is going with really encourages people to use their home churches to help them.  Since she has only lived in the area for a few months, Jess thought she’d have to shoulder the fundraising effort on her own.  But as I have seen them do time after time, the Keystone community has embraced her and made her challenge their challenge.  It has been so precious for me to see people embrace her and include her in the wonderful church family – making Keystone her real church home.  So not only did I see the miracle of the money being raised, but I saw the miracle of her connecting to the church.  And honestly I would have felt blessed and grateful with one of those things – and so he did BOTH!  We are SO BLESSED!

So here are the things the Lord did – the vessels we brought to Him that He filled with oil:

– Jess’ trip – He provided so much!

– Furniture for our friend’s home (serving as a constant reminder that He is faithful)

– Healing and belonging in Jess’ heart

– Great joy in Justin’s and my heart (getting to watch again the Lord use the church)

Anyway – BIG HUGE MASSIVE shout out and gratitude to all of the people who donated.  I don’t even know who all you were – but I am SO very thankful.  And BIG HUGE MASSIVE shoutout to my girl Heather D who was the organizer extraordinaire.  You, girl, are truly a light and it is amazing these things you do to bless others.  And mostly, thanks to the Lord for AGAIN showing His faithfulness to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine.

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